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STUDYING FOREST ROOT SYSTEMS - AN OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGICAL PROBLEMS
Joslin, J. D., M G. Johnson, D T. Tingey, AND D L. Phillips. STUDYING FOREST ROOT SYSTEMS - AN OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGICAL PROBLEMS. Presented at Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, Charlotte, NC, October 21-25, 2001.
The study of tree root systems is central to understanding forest ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycles, nutrient and water uptake, C allocation patterns by trees, soil microbial populations, adaptation of trees to stress, soil organic matter production, etc. Methodological problems remain extremely intractable, despite some recent advances. This overview focuses on approaches to quantifying root biomass, its distribution, and the transformation of root material via the component processes of root turnover - production, mortality, and decomposition. Summarized are the problems associated with the current approaches to measuring root pools and fluxes, with special emphasis on the advantages, disadvantages, and problems involved in the use of minirhizotrons, repeated coring techniques, ingrowth cores, tracers, and balancing nutrient cycles. Scaling issues, ?difficult' soils, and species differences are also touched upon.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION
TERRESTRIAL PLANT ECOLOGY BRANCH